'Our students now learn real life problems and empathy'
I think it has allowed our school community to really accept and understand others
By Sarwat Nasir
Published: Sun 9 Apr 2017, 9:45 PM
Last updated: Mon 10 Apr 2017, 11:22 AM
Leanne Fridd is Head of Primary, Safa Community School
Accepting Syrian students into the school is helping other students learn about empathy and understand others.
Our teachers are beginning to teach all the students about real world problems, ever since the school enrolled the Syrian students. Other parents and staff have also been inspired by the Syrian families' story and wanted to contribute to buying costumes for the children for World Book Day.
I think it has allowed our school community to really accept and understand others, but most importantly learn empathy. As a school, we have really focused on a developing a culture of learning within our school, but by welcoming in a family from such a diverse background, it has allowed us to remain grounded.
During our National Day celebration assembly, when the two senior boys (from one of the Syrian families) made speeches in Arabic, many staff members and families had tears in their eyes because we could see how far these children had come.
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It has been amazing to watch our school community pull together and to think about this family. During Book Day, the number of staff and parents who offered to buy the children costumes to ensure they felt a part of the event, but also to ensure that there were no additional financial strains on the family, was touching.
The schools' students are now learning about the realities of the world. I also think it has had a significant impact on our teachers, due to curriculum adaptations, our teachers now choose concepts which teach children about real life relevant problems that we have in the world.
Our students have been learning about the global goals when the whole school focused on Global Awareness, and recently for parental engagement week, parents were invited in to write Eco Promises linked to sustainable choices they could make at home to help care for the environment.
Some may even say that these children have been fortunate enough to have received an education. But I believe we are the ones who have been fortunate - the
difference they have made in our school and amongst our community is immense. We cannot thank them enough for accepting to join our Safa family, as we learn so much from them every day.
We are ever so proud to say that they are Safa students. I hope other schools would do the same for Syrian students.